The CPA Exam community & online study group to help you pass!
Have you ever been part of a study group? Have you ever asked your professor questions during class or during office hours? How about explaining your understanding of a topic to another student?
If so, then you know all the grade-improving goodness that happens when you get the chance to talk about what you are learning with others.
Researchers at the University of Colorado tested students by asking them a specific question. After answering, the students then had the opportunity to discuss the question. Then, they went back and answered the question again. After that discussion, most of the students got the question right.
But the most interesting part is the students were then tested on a second question that they did not get a chance to discuss with others. 20% of students got the second question right if they did not participate in the discussions with others for question 1, but 50% of students got the second question right if they did discuss question 1 with someone else.
The implications of this research for CPA exam candidates are enormous. Even though you may not discuss a specific question with another candidate or an instructor, discussing other topics and questions will help you make connections and bring new perspectives that help you get those other questions right.
Why ignore this simple tool that can have such a powerful impact on your score?
In addition to improving your score (as if that weren’t reason enough), working with other candidates or an instructor has other benefits. One of the biggest emotional drains on people studying for the exam is feeling alone and that their family and friends do not understand the difficulty.
Having an outlet with others who are going through the same thing or who have already been through it is a major mental and emotional benefit. This is one of the most frequent reasons members of my review course give as to why they enjoy the course...the chance to discuss their challenges and know they are not alone.
The problem with most CPA exam candidates is that they feel isolated and get stuck not understanding certain topics even though they paid $1,000’s for a review course. They try to do it all on their own. They just have videos or textbooks to keep them company and maybe the occasional Twitter message.
Your family and friends don’t understand. Even other CPAs you may work with have conveniently forgotten all the tortures exam candidates go through on their journey toward success.
Other people studying for the exam and experts whose business it is to help candidates are great resources for you to use.
These tools will help you see that you are not alone...that there are other people walking this path with you, and will help you learn and understand the material more quickly and more completely.
Use the resources here at CPA Exam Club to meet others. Consider joining a review course that gives you regular, direct access to the instructor.
There is no substitute for talking through topics to understand them more fully.